WHO'S TALKING ABOUT SAVE OUR BRIDGES?
“I just read Barry's article in the WSJ, then went to his website. I can tell you, living in Oklahoma, that he is spot on! Our bridges are in terrible shape and our legislators know it! Many of the bridges listed on Barry's website are ones that I have to travel across every day. Please tell Barry to keep up the good work!”
— Troy, Oklahoma
“I agree we need help. Tell me what I can do, and I need to know about our neighborhood in Wisconsin.”
— David, Wisconsin
Thanks for viewing the SaveOurBridges.com website. We need everyone to contact their local, state and federal officials and demand that they do everything in their power to secure needed financing for remediating your neighborhood’s bridges on the map. Demand that they meet with federal and state transportation agency representatives to line up the funding as an emergency allocation from the new funds provided by the 2012 Transportation Act.
With your help in sending friends and family to SaveOurBridges.com, we will all begin to address our imperiled bridges and begin to make a difference.
Keep me advised of your efforts.
Barry B. LePatner, Esq.
“Hello. You have probably heard this before, but, while I appreciate what you are doing with this website, I continue to be concerned that publicizing detailed information regarding our infrastructure weaknesses lends itself to feeding information to people who want to do this country and its residents harm.”
— William, Virginia
I want to thank you for reviewing the information on the SaveOurBridges.com website.
As I note both in the introduction to the website as well as in my book, Too Big To Fall, the failure of our politicians for decades to allocate funding to repair our ailing bridges is well documented. In fact, these politicians and their transportation agencies have failed to reveal to the traveling public—you and me and our families and friends—that their failure to act has created a daily danger to millions of Americans, whose lives are already in jeopardy because these officials have failed to take corrective action immediately.
The money is there to do this, but the political will is not. These bridges on the map of the website are all vulnerable to collapse just as the I-35W in Minneapolis collapsed.
By addressing these problems, we can put one million construction workers back to work for two years and get them off the unemployment rolls. By doing this work, we prevent the next collapse from happening.
While I understand your concern about the vulnerability of these bridges, I am even more concerned about preventing families from having to deal with the unnecessary heartaches the families of the 13 who died so unnecessarily in Minneapolis and the families of the other 145 injured from the collapse, which could and should have been prevented.
Thanks for your concerns and let’s spread the word to our politicians to begin to rectify their mistakes of the past few decades and fix our ailing infrastructure.
Barry B. LePatner, Esq.
I just visited your website. Fascinating! I found it from an article in my local Sunday paper. You deserve a gold medal for the work you are doing. I am anxious to read your book. I lived most of my life in the Washington DC area. It is scary to think what could happen in an area that is so heavily populated.”
— Ted, Florida
“Aloha, Thank you for your service in making this information available…God Bless.”
— Ben, Hawaii
“Would you be willing to let people post this map link on Facebook? Engineers know about these issues but until the non-engineering public starts to notice, the politicians will whine about birth control instead of real issues.”
— Mary Anne, Illinois
Dear Mary Anne,
It is our hope that the public widely disseminate the LePatner SaveOurBridges.com map to friends and family and colleagues across the nation. Please be sure to send them the website so that we can track the comments from citizens all over and begin to influence our politicians about the need for funding to avoid future bridge collapses.
Barry B. LePatner, Esq.
“I very much like what you have done. Two points. One, I think there are several bridges in the Tampa Bay area that may be under repair - Platt street and columbus ave. Secondly, the problem is that we are spending the money on the wrong things. We need to cut spending, not increase. But I agree that these are the types of things that we should be spending on. Good luck!”
“Mr. LePatner, thank you for your effort and for making this public. I hope the risk to life, commerce and legal costs that you have exposed, does not fall on deaf ears. As a structural and civil engineer, the issue is well understood and your map is particularly appreciated…Again, your time and effort are truly appreciated.”
— Tara, Oregon
“…Thank you very much, I think you've done an excellent job with the site!”
“I'm a Civil Engineer working in the private sector, actively involved with ASCE and its continuing efforts to inform legislators about our deteriorating infrastructure. This map makes for a great visual…”
— Alex, California
“This is quite the map!”
“Hello, Interesting site. I enjoyed the information and especially the map…”
— Ivan, California
“…I will agree with the general assessment that bridge maintenance is less glamorous than ribbon cuttings at new projects, however I think it is wrong to characterize transportation officials as being "slaves to corporate interests" w/re to choosing projects (Al Lewis's Sunday article). At the county and local level at least, we put attention to where the traffic is and don't tend to worry about politics or corporate interests. Thank you for your efforts, very good website!”
— Mike, Michigan
“Barry LePatner's article on collapsing bridges and infrastructure maintenance should have included an explanation for why our government of the people, et cetera, et cetera can't do anything until a disaster happens.
Our professional politicians are ignoring the problem because their voters are ignoring the problem because the news media is ignoring the problem. Most voters don't take notes when they read a newspaper or listen to a news broadcast. And a teacher would be fired if her lectures were as disorganized as the events the news media must investigate.
So your recent article will be forgotten by most voters when the election is finally held. But our crumbling infrastructure could receive more effective publicity if every government employee was given a paid vacation day on the Monday closest in the calendar to our average rate of taxation. (Google Tax Freedom Day) This new holiday would make most taxpayers madder than an unregulated firecracker. Do you remember public's anger from the bridge to nowhere?”
— Stanley, Nebraska
You are certainly correct that politicians -- and voters -- have been failing to recognize the severity of the problem with our deteriorating infrastructure. Both our nation's leaders and our citizens are unaware that since 1989 we have had nearly 600 bridge failures that cause immeasurable economic harm to the communities affected, not to mention the peril to the traveling public.
As for an explanation of why our nation has a propensity for awaiting disasters before taking affirmative corrective action, we have seen this time and time again. It would have cost $500 million to remedy the levees around New Orleans; as a result of Hurricane Katrina we have spent $16 billion! The I-35W Bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis could have been remediated and the tragic loss of lives avoided for a mere $15 million. After the collapse, the federal government paid $235 million for a new, state-of-the-art bridge. Truly perverse incentives for the future.
Barry B. LePatner, Esq.
"I heard Barry on the radio the other day, and I am shocked at the condition of our bridges in this country, and our government gridlock doing nothing about it, along with the states not allocating the money to our roads and bridges that they receive from the government, I hope to hear back from you soon, I believe I have finally found the cause to help make a difference in this country. Thank you for everything you do, I will remain in touch."
— Jeffery, Chicago
Hi Jeff —
It has become more important than ever that it will, in the final analysis, be up to regular citizens to express to our nation’s leaders that our perilous infrastructure has reached a breaking point. With my new website, www.SaveOurBridges.com, I have made it simple for every citizen to identify the bridges in their communities that could collapse just as the I-35W in Minneapolis did five years ago this month.
We are going to need those, like yourself, to send around the link to the new website to everyone they know and get them to call or write their local politicians to secure the needed funding that will make their bridges safe for their children, families and friends. Since the new website went public on August 1 we have had tens of thousands of hits and many individuals write in as you did to mention how deplorable and unacceptable the situation has become.
Thanks for your continued support and look forward to hearing about how your city and state – which have numerous bridges such as the I-35W in their environs – begin to address these issues.
Barry B. LePatner
Hello, I'm writing you because I wanted to know if the bridges that are in your mapping application include information about the causes of impacts to the failing bridge infrastructure? For example, are the causes because of flooding, stormwater runoff, etc? -Thank you for your time, I hope to hear back from you soon.
— Jason, Washington, D.C.
The LePatner map identifies only those bridges that are both structurally deficient and fracture critical that are part of the 600,000 National Bridge Inventory. The map does not identify causations for bridge failure as they are numerous and the subject of other research. Bridges fail for lack of maintenance, fracture cracks that go unremediated, overloading a bridge beyond its design capabilities, scour, and a host of other possible causes.
Best regards and thanks for your inquiry.
Barry B. LePatner
Barry put on a great event for the Rocky Mountain WPO chapter. His knowledge of the infrastructure problems facing our country is unparalleled, and his message really opened the eyes of the audience. Where Barry really succeeds is in making the business case for infrastructure investment. He very clearly explains why business leaders, whose businesses suffer supply chain disruptions and wasted time and money as a result of congested roadways, can and should play an important role in pushing Congress to make necessary investments.
Barry has a wonderful way of presenting this complicated topic in an engaging, understandable, and down-to-earth manner. Importantly, he also gave us some real food for thought as to how we can begin to effectively tackle the infrastructure challenges facing our nation. It was a fun and highly informative evening on a topic that needs our attention.
— Jeff Bennis, Managing Member, 5280 Partners, LP; Member, World Presidents’ Organization